Our Brain is Teflon for the Positive, Velcro for the Negative

Our Brain is Teflon for the Positive, Velcro for the Negative

Neuroscience based Habits for Happiness… There is a saying that I heard recently from Elsa Punset… “Our brain is teflon for the positive and velcro for the negative” It is a powerful metaphor.

It is solidly grounded in psychological research. In good relationships the ratio of positive to negative comments is 7:1. 1 negative comment about a friend needs 7 positive statements to balance out… because our brain is so much more tuned into anything that risks our safety.

I noticed in the summer that I was paying attention to the difficulties, the challenges and was regularly in a state of anxiety and frustration. The habit that Albert shared with me – sending him a whatsapp each day for the next 21 days with 3 things I was grateful for – achieved a significant shift in how I was paying attention to the world around me… and then a shift in my inner state.

We never really have life figured out. There are a set of practices that help me remember what is important and help me put my mind into a creative, productive state. Sometimes I forget to do these practices, and over time I lose the power to access that creative, productive state.

My Grateful Whatsapp for today:

Gratitude 1/21

  • went for a run up on Ctra de les Aigues, along the mountain of Tibidabo this morning… there was a misty rain that is more common to Ireland… and it was wonderful to run with this light cooling mist.
  • I completed several Zoom-based online leadership and communications programs this week and I am feeling positive about my ability to teach via video.
  • Had a good night’s sleep. (I stopped drinking coffee 3 weeks ago because I was having trouble sleeping… and it is so good to wake up refreshed in the morning)
  • I can hear my daughter singing the music from Frozen II right now. She regularly fills our home with songs.

This morning’s run… atop the hill of Sant Pere Martir.